Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How brightly does Twilight's New Moon shine on the big screen?

No doubt,many of you who are big fans of the Twilight saga have seen the latest film adaptation several times over and have formed several opinions about which aspect of book vs. movie details worked best.

I managed to see Twilight:New Moon over the holiday weekend and found it to be pretty much what I expected it to be-a rather faithful retelling of the story with some interesting visual tricks that helped to enhance the plot. Since there have been plenty of straightforward reviews of the film already,I thought it would be more interesting to talk about it by focusing on three major elements that most of the fans would be keeping an extra sharp eye on how they were brought to life on screen:


The ancient order of vampires who still keep to the old ways,especially when it comes to the traditional bloodsucker's menu,had their brief debut and came off as ones to watch out for,indeed. While there was plenty of hype surrounding the casting of Dakota Fanning as paingiver Jane,she really didn't have much to do here but does give off a nice menacing aura that makes you hope she comes back for the later films.

Michael Sheen as Aro,the charismatic leader of the gang who delights in the powers of those under his wing,does make the most of his time onscreen. He portrays Aro very much as I imagined him while turning the pages of New Moon and brought an eerily lively air to his scenes:


The emergence of the Quileute werewolves is a key plot development and the film did showcase that well,maybe with not as much depth as the book did but as they say,a picture can be worth a thousand words of explanation.

Jacob's fears of being lead into an unknown destiny at first and then his wholehearted yet reluctant acceptance of the situation(particularly where Bella is concerned)was convincingly done by both screenwriters and the actors.

As to werewolf transformations,I like the quick change artist approach taken here. The weres are supposed to be larger than real wolves to begin with and they do look amazing. I also like the moments when Bella's reflection is caught in Jacob's eye during his wolf state,it adds a touching pathos to his struggles with his torn emotions towards her. The action sequences between the weres and vamps were just hints of what's to come in Eclipse but I'm looking forward to seeing just how far those will go:


Taylor Lautner has to take center stage here as Jacob becomes a major player for Bella's heart and despite whatever doubts some of the producers had about him that made them reconsider replacing Taylor in the part during pre-production,he clearly has the acting skills for this role and proves himself to be as irreplaceable as either Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson.

Jacob's sweet crush on Bella goes from being the best friend ready and willing to pick Bella up after Edward's abrupt departure sends her down a swirling sorrow spiral to hesitantly wanting her as part of the new phase of his life right into fierce jealousy and protectiveness when the Cullens come back into Bella's world. Lautner makes these emotional twists and turns as smoothly as the CGI turns him into a giant wolf and shows why the camp for Team Jacob is just as firmly devoted as Team Edward is for their guy to win out in the end:

The flaws in the film as I see them are that Director Chris Weitz takes a rather detached tone in dealing with Bella's despair,altho I like the sequence where her months of brooding are framed in a Mobius strip style. Having Edward appear in a ghostly form whenever Bella takes a physical risk does work on screen but lends itself to being a little too gimmicky as time goes on.

Also,the film doesn't bother with a lot of exposition that would allow someone who didn't see the first movie to get much of what's happening and who is who for the second one. That's fine,I guess,and other sequels have done the same thing but in a way ,it does leave a newcomer out in the cold there.

Overall,Twilight:New Moon does justice to the book and sets the stage for Eclipse,which is very action packed and may actually draw more of a male audience at the multiplex next time around. Even if it doesn't,it is clear that the Twilight saga will be a strong force to reckon with on the pop culture scene for awhile longer.

My only request is that we get a snazzier selection of tunes for the Eclipse soundtrack-sorry,folks,but most of the songs on the New Moon playlist are not as toe tapping as the ones on the original Twilight one. The best of the bunch to me is Muse,with their remix of "I Belong to You",it's got a funky little rhythm there worth listening to again. Oh,well,maybe Adam Lambert will do us the honor of giving us a song for Eclipse(I can dream,can't I?). Until then,enjoy this romp under the serious moonlight,Twilight believers:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I was surprised at how much I like Jacob in this. I agree, I wasn't crazy about this soundtrack but I understand why it didn't have an as upbeat one as the previous movie.